Notes from Baylor's 35-24 Victory over Oklahoma State

The Bears gutted out a tough win over Oklahoma State Saturday night in a game started with a 90 minute delay and ending with turnovers and touchdowns.

In a game that started with a quick Baylor touchdown, followed by a 90-minute lightning delay, the Bears gutted out a 35-24 win over Oklahoma State. A 21-14 lead at halftime, and a 28-24 game going into the fourth quarter saw the Bears defense step up three times in the redzone in the 4th to keep the Cowboys off the scoreboard and the Bears in the lead. 

First Quarter Notes

  • What a start by the Bears, but that drive was saved by Jordan Feuerbacher on that sly little tight end pass that went for 36 yards on third and 11. The tight end up the seam is such as weapon for the Bears, but one that they have to pick and choose. Great spot to use it there. 
  • Sly little wrinkle with the RB direct snap with Russell lined up as the RB.  Some intersting things could spawn off of that, including Williams pitching the ball back to Russell for a deep pass.  It worked great to start the game, but after that first drive, OSU was ready for it 
  • Brutal punt return mistake by Tony Nicholson, setup by a great 56-yard punt by OSU. Backpedaled to his own 5-yard line, ran towards the goal line and then fumbled the ball gibing OSU the ball on the 5. Easy touchdown.  First mistake Tony Nicholson has made as a punt returner, and it was a HUGE one. 
  • The Baylor defense in the first quarter was excellent:  Punt, Forced Fumble, Missed FG on the three true drives. 
  • Baylor's offense got the fast start on the first drive, but stalled on their next few drives due to same little mistakes that have plagued them the past few games. Bad push on 4th and 4 deep in OSU teritory and then a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage gets picked off. Both of those in the redzone and took possible points off the board. 

Second Quarter Notes

  • Baylor's defense bends a bit on a 60-yard drive but holds up late and forces a missed 44-yard field goal. 
  • Tip drill touchdown?  Why not.  A poorly thrown ball by Seth Russell gets by Lynx Hawthorne's leaping catch attempt and bounces right to Ish Zamora who runs for a 38-yard touchdown.
  • Zamora showed off a bit on this play, pointing at a defender as he was running in for the score.  Offensive Coordinator Kendall Briles had some strong words for him after that. 
  • The Bears defense continues to bend, but this time breaks on a 14-play, 75 yard drive.  A big-time 3rd and 12 conversion at the BU 20-yard line was the big play, and a foreshadow to 3rd down issues for the Bears. 
  • After that drive, the Bears offense let the defense down, going three-and-out. Luckily, the defense stepped up and forced a fumble on the ensuing drive. Baylor would score a touchdown to go up 21-14. 

Third Quarter Notes

  • A 7-minute, 14 second drive by the Cowboys tied the game up at 21. Almost half of the third quarter gone.  A huge 3rd and 10 at the Baylor 12 allowed the drive to keep going, one of 5 3rd downs converted on that drive. 
  • Of course, why take 14 plays, when you can just take 2 and get an 89-yard touchdown to Chris Platt on a perfect double move and throw by Seth Russell.  Prettiest pass Russell has ever thrown. Great to see him and Platt finally connect on a deep ball this year. 
  • The Bears defense would bend quite a big again, but OSU Coach Mike Gundy settled for a field goal on 4th and 3 from the Baylor 11.  Odd call and kept it a 1-score game. 
  • Now here is where we get weird.  Baylor would attempt three rushes on their next possession and have 4th and 1 from their own 24.  The Bears would go for it, something they did against Rice and SMU successfuly. Oklahoma State is not Rice or SMU.  They snuff out the play (a direct snap to Williams) for no gain.  OSU would have the ball deep in Baylor territory
  • Coach Grobe would say after the game that he had the mute button on his headset, so the coaches did not hear him saying to punt it.  So many jokes about that comment.  

Fourth Quarter Notes

  • The Baylor defense would step up on their own goalline, this time stuffing Rennie Childs for a 2-yard loss on 4th and 2. A tremendous stop.
  • After a short Baylor series that got the ball out to the Baylor 22, The Cowboys would get another crack at a touchdown, driving into the redzone before a run down to the 1-yard line. However, Justice Hill would fumble the ball at the 1-yard line, forced by Travon Blanchard to save a touchdown.  
  • The Bears would have the ball inside their own 1-yard line, 99+ yards away from extending their lead.  Well, that is what they would do. After a Seth Russell run for 1-yard, Russell would find Ish Zamora down the field for a massive 32-yard gain.  After two Terence Williams rushes, Russell would again find Zamora for a 34 yard gain.
  • A rare swing pass to a running back, this time Terence Williams would go for 23 yards and put the Bears at first and goal. 
  • After an awful snap by Kyle Fuller, Russell would find Chris Platt up the seam for a 15-yard touchdown and an 11-point lead with just over 5-minutes to go. 
  • From then on, it was the defense doing its job.  No huge plays, and making the Cowboys work the clock. 
  • The Bears defense would force a punt, but the offense would give the ball back to OSU with 2 minutes to go.  The Cowboys would again drive down into the Baylor redzone, but a Xavier Jones sack would end the game as the clock struck zero. 

Player Notes

  • Verkedric Vaughns had his best game as a Bear.  He was exceptional Saturday night, primarily covering James Washington who caught 6 balls for 89 yards.  Outstanding. He broke up 2-passes, had 7 tackles and forced a massive fumble, which he recovered.  
  • Travon Blanchard is still the Bears best defender.  Game leading 12 tackles, with 2 for loss. So good on the backside of the play. 
  • Shock Linwood is just not healhy.  Just two rushing attempts, and did not even get into the game after halftime.  Hasty and Williams are simply better fits right now for what the Bears want to do. 
  • Seth Russell was still off on a few plays (the early one to Lynch that was too high, even the TD pass to "Zamora" that was to Hawthorne was a poor throw). But this was hist best game of 2016.  He hit his stride in the second half, and you won't find a prettier pass than the 89-yard one to Chris Platt. 
  • The Baylor offensive line had an oustanding game.  Just 1 sack on Russell, and no quarterback hurries.  Decent push in the run game, against the best defensive front they have seen this year.  
  • Ish Zamora is a huge different maker for this offense.  Gives them a legit target on the other side from Cannon for defenses to worry about.  With him and Chris Platt playing well, the Bears have Cannon and Blake Lynch to provide them a tremendous 4-man unit. Zamora finished with 8 receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. 
  • Seth Russell's legs carried the Bears ground attack Saturday night, similar to the West Virginia game last year. 65 yards on 10 carries. 

Final Notes

  • Bears never trailed in this game, though OSU tied it at 7, 14, and 21.  
  • Over 42 minutes of time possession for OSU.  Incredible. 101 offensive plays and just 492 yard of offense.  
  • The Cowboys converted 12-20 on 3rd down, with several of these being 3rd and 8 or much longer.  Bears dominated this game on 1st and 2nd down, but were beaten way too often on 3rd. 
  • The Cowboys came in averaging 6.22 yards per play (8.65 passing, 3.06 rushing).  This game, they were at 4.87 overall (6.06 passing, and 3.87 rushing)
  • Teams will learn not to run east/west against this Bears defense.  OSU tried it way too many times, and the Bears got the bulk of those plays for negative yards.  
  • The Bears ended up with 13 tackles for loss for -53 yards.  Including 4 sacks and 7 quarterback hurries on the Cowboys 45 passing attempts. 

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